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Posts Tagged: "npe"

Reflections on the 2018 Patent Market

Despite falling average prices, in 2018, the patent market grew fast. We estimate the 2018 market size to be $353 million, up from last year’s estimated $296 million. The 2016 market slump (estimated $165 million market) is, hopefully, a thing of the past. In order to make this estimate, we use the observed sales that occurred in the 2018 market year and used their actual asking prices to determine the market size. As is consistent with the previous two years, if no pricing guidance was provided, the average asking price per asset for the market year of the sale (eg $123,000 for 2018 market year sales), was multiplied by the number of assets to determine the expected asking price. In the 2018 market year, 210 sales were identified, accounting for a total asking price of $527 million. Due to recordation delays, we assume that we have not yet seen 3% of the sales that occurred in the timeframe, so we multiplied this total asking price by 1.03 before applying our standard 35% discount between asking price and expected selling price. Thus, our expected total market size for the 2018 market is $353 million, indicating that the market has increased by 19% since last year and 114% since the 2016 market.

Tracking Buyer and Seller Behavior: 2018 Patent Market Report

As a buyer, tracking the behaviors of sellers, both in aggregate and individually, allows you to operationalize your buying activities. This is especially true for repeat sellers, who account for 41% of the transactions for patent packages listed in calendar years 2017 and 2018. Knowing who the regular sellers are, often companies with a large portfolio, allows you to contact sellers to create a private deal. Keeping track of a seller’s listings, package sizes, and asking prices can also help you in negotiations because you know their negotiation parameters at the outset. Similarly, if you are a seller, it is important to get out the word that you are selling. Listing packages on your website, through the IAM Market, or working with brokers attracts buyers to you rather than you having to spend the time and effort to find them. For the analysis of current sellers and buyers we looked at all of the packages that sold between January 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018 (assignments were last checked on August 15, 2018) regardless of their listing date. Sales continue to be made mostly by operating companies, which is not surprising as they file the majority of patents. Operating companies were the sellers in 67% of transactions. This is remarkably consistent, at 66% in the previous two papers.

‘Bad Patents’ Are Just Another Big Tech False Narrative

Over the last 15 years, Congress, the courts and the USPTO have gutted the patent system. Fortunately, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu has been taking important steps to reverse some of the damage, with revised 101 guidance and changes in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). But the most important thing Iancu is doing is silencing the big tech “patent troll” narrative. False political narratives condense complicated issues into an object and then villainize the object. Once a villain is created, its evil can be expanded to encompass anything you don’t like. When you have pushed enough bad stuff into the moniker, you can simply state its evil name, add a few campaign contributions, and Congress will magically pass laws in your favor to kill the villain. The “patent troll” narrative has been valuable to big tech. It bought the laws they needed to perpetuate their monopolies. With Iancu silencing the “patent troll” narrative, big tech created a new one: “bad patents”.

Wayne Evans: One Inventor’s Battle With the Patent Troll Issue

When you see a docket report with a patent lawsuit filed by a non-practicing entity (NPE), do you think it’s just another ‘patent troll’ taking advantage of the system? Or would you be willing to consider that underlying every patent litigation is a human story of invention, which is the embodiment and manifestation of an innovator’s aspirations and sacrifices? These human stories are too often marginalized in the ‘patent troll’ debate. One such story is that of Wayne Evans. His life took him from the depths of poverty and loss to the struggles of being an entrepreneur raising a family and, ultimately, to late-in-life success as an inventor, innovator, and author.

Brokered Patents are Not Junk—and the Reasons will Surprise You

Occasionally, we hear people say, “brokered patents are all junk.” This begs the question, “are operating companies and non-practicing entities (NPEs) spending hundreds of millions of dollars buying junk patents?” Luckily, the short answer is no. We know clients have successfully bought and used brokered patents to substantially alter their licensing and litigation posture at a lower cost than the alternatives. We also know that patents on the brokered market rank higher than average patents. So why this disconnect? We are victims of our own cognitive biases and the behavioral economic traps that make it harder for buyers to find and buy patents… When only a small fraction of what we are looking at is ultimately interesting to us, our brains can trick us. Using a structured decision-making process together with some tools can overcome those biases and allow us to identify and buy the patents that fit our business needs.

Facebook patent infringement suit against BlackBerry looks remarkably patent troll-like

Facebook is asserting a series of patents the company has acquired from other firms, making its actions similar to those of non-practicing entities (NPEs) and remarkably patent troll-like. After all, we have been told time and time again by those who have advocated for patent reform and a systematic dismantling of the patent system that a telltale sign of a truly bad actor like a patent troll is that the patents were not the subject of homegrown innovation, but were rather acquired from true innovators and then used to sue others. That, however, is precisely what Facebook is doing here. 

Misrepresentations in Service to Efficient Infringer Lobby

The world of intellectual property law has been abuzz in recent months leading up to oral arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, a case which will determine whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) operates in violation of both Article III of the U.S. Constitution and…

What Changes Result from the Supreme Court Decision in TC Heartland?

Unfortunately, the answer may be not as much as many expected. Right after the decision there were 350 motions to transfer or dismiss in the EDTX. But the limitations imposed by TC Heartland have been called into question by a ruling from EDTX Judge Rodney Gilstrap in Raytheon Co. v. Cray Inc. In his decision, Gilstrap denied a motion by Cray seeking to transfer the case to another district in light of TC Heartland. Gilstrap found that the existence of a single employee in the district constituted “regular and established place of business,” and he established a four-factor test to decide whether newer cases belong in the district… As hopeful as some folks were about TC Heartland, it certainly hasn’t stopped NPEs. The IP community must acknowledge this and adjust accordingly – it’s still the wild west out there, for now.

The duplicitous nature of Unified Patents statements about patent owners

Based on this Unified Patents definition of an NPE, any patent owner that seeks to enforce a patent, whether through licensing or litigation, is a patent troll. Therefore, according to Unified Patents and Shawn Ambwani, any patent owner that seeks a licensing fee, seeks to resolve ongoing infringement, or resorts to the judicial process to seek redress for those who are violating rights granted by the federal government are patent trolls. In other words, all patent owners are patent trolls in the view of Unified Patents and Shawn Ambwani. Only those patent owners that go through the extraordinary time and expense of inventing and obtaining a patent and then do absolutely nothing are legitimate patent owners — everyone else is a patent troll. Talk about completely and utterly asinine! But I suppose that is how they come up with the ridiculous and obviously phony “statistics” about more than 95% of patent infringement cases being filed by patent trolls. The only way that is possible is because to Unified Patents all patent owners are patent trolls!

Is HTIA’s general counsel John Thorne a patent troll?

John Thorne was VP and deputy general counsel for Verizon during its legal battle against former American cable television company Cablevision where Verizon asserted a series of patents it owned… A closer look into the patents renders some interesting information about the patents Verizon asserted and the company’s legal strategy in the case. Two of the eight patents asserted by Verizon in the District of Delaware weren’t originally invented by Verizon, Bell Atlantic or other any other of Verizon’s predecessor companies; they were acquired from outside entities… And haven’t we been told by the likes of Unified Patents that all patent owners who enforce their patents are patent trolls? One would have to assume if Unified is being logically consistent they would have extraordinary problems with Verizon’s activities particularly here where the patents used to sue Cablevision were acquired and not the subject of in-house innovation.

Is being called a ‘patent troll’ defamatory? NH inventor files suit against banking industry to find out

In a New Hampshire State Superior Court, this so-called ‘patent troll’ has decided to fight back. Automated Transactions and Dave Barcelou have filed a defamation complaint against the crème de la crème of those deemed “too big to fail” and who many might consider to be too big to defeat… The minute Barcelou was able to enforce his patented technologies in court, winning a sizable settlement from the biggest bank in his hometown of Buffalo, NY, a veritable “Who’s Who” of the financial services leaders joined forces to destroy both Barcelou and his company economically. Besides encouraging one another to ignore Automated Transaction’s demand letters, false and misleading statements started to appear in prominent business publications, which went so far as to say the company had purchased its patents, or alternatively, that the patents were invalid. Over time a unified battle cry arose from the ‘poor little community banks’ he allegedly targeted; “He’s nothing but a patent troll.”

Patent ‘gold rush’ to blame for patent sharks, patent trolls

Patent trolls – as well as calls for changes to the law to prevent them – date back to at least the 1800’s. A look at their history suggests that they have more to do with fluidity in the definition of patentable subject matter than any unique feature of a particular class of inventions… A change in a fundamental definition of what comprised patentable subject matter, and that change brought a major building block of commerce into the ambit of the patent system. In the age of the sharks, the farm remained the core of the U.S. economy, driving a gold rush of new patents covering every element of the farming process. Such a rush also encourages the formation of patent thickets, as speculators scramble for any potentially protectable chunk of the market. The same phenomenon drove the development of modern tech and software patents. In the aftermath of State Street, once again the market found that the machinery that undergirded the economy was suddenly open to being patented, leading to a similar gold rush.

MA State Senator Eric Lesser makes push towards reform on bad faith patent assertions

The HuffPost recently published a piece authored by Massachusetts State Senator Eric P. Lesser (D), which is titled Patent Trolls Are Trolling Startups In Massachusetts – And We Need To Change That. The piece attempts to engage readers by taking a situation from the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley and apply it to real world business activities currently ongoing within the state of Massachusetts. However, critical analysis of Lesser’s article indicates glaring flaws with his logic in a way that makes it look like Lesser is more interested in following a false narrative in service to patent infringing interests than he is in supporting Constitutionally-protected property rights.

House IP Subcommittee holds yet another one-sided hearing on bad patents and patent trolls

House IP subcommittee chair Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) led off the hearing by discussing the large number of interests who are often on Capitol Hill to discuss their issues with “patent trolls,” including the “genius ones” which have only been developed in recent years. Despite the intent of the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 to weed bad patents out of the system, “patent trolls” remain active. Issa felt there were a few reasons for this, including the fact that such entities make money and that good patents could still be used to assert unreasonable claims. “Why innovate when it’s far easier and more profitable to simply purchase a patent, acquire one, acquire the rights to a patent, perhaps one that has never been licensed, bully businesses into writing a check, go away without ever seriously litigating,” Issa said. He said that 80 percent of “patent troll” litigation focuses on small business. “Simply put, we should not confuse ‘Making America Great Again’ with ‘Making American Patent Trolls Richer Again,’” Issa said. Although Issa was pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on patent venue in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, he recoiled at what he felt was an “overreach” by Judge Rodney Gilstrap from the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.); Issa felt that Gilstrap misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland by denying a motion to transfer venue from E.D. Tex. in Raytheon v. Cray. “It is, in fact, an act that I find reprehensible by that judge,” Issa said.

Myths about patent trolls prevent honest discussion about U.S. patent system

A $1 trillion a year industry not wanting to pay innovators less than a 1% royalty on the innovations they appropriate (i.e., steal) for their own profits seems like a terrible price to pay given the national security and economic consequences of forfeiting our world leadership to the Europeans and Chinese… Google and Uber are locked in a patent battle over self-driving automobiles, so does that make Google or Uber a patent troll? What about General Electric, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Whirlpool, Kraft Foods, Caterpillar, Seiko Epson, Amgen, Bayer, Genzyme, Sanofi-Aventis, and Honeywell, to name just a few?